Not depressed, just sad, lonely or unhappy (Part 11)
Death - part of life
"Trauma" comes from the Greek word for a "wound", and in a medical sense, it is what happens to the body when a wound delivers a shock.
But bereavement, of which I have much sorrowful experience is, alas, part of the natural course of life's sad events.
As Shakespeare observes, with Hamlet, his father lost a father, and that father lost a father before him, and so on, ad infinitum, through the hinterland of human history.
Grief is desperately upsetting: it hurts you for ages, and the loss of someone you love is emotionally painful, and can be enduringly so. But why not call it by its proper name: bereavement: grief: loss?
One reason may be that we are losing old rituals which human beings have practised for eons.
When I was a young woman in France in the 1960s, you would come across a shop with its blinds drawn, and a notice saying: "Ferme pour deuil": closed for mourning.
t is still seen in France, and is also a usual response in Italy. Mourning symbols were widespread in all cultures - widows' weeds, black armbands - and the community was expected to respect those who mourn.
Outward signs of mourning have declined, if not been abolished in more secular societies now: but our sense of sadness and loss endure, and instead of this being called mourning, it is called "trauma".
It might be a start to revive or recapture some of the wider, non-medical vocabulary for the gamut of human experience.
Depression may also be melancholy: it may be discouragement, disappointment, abandonment, sadness, sorrow, mourning, rejection, regret, anxiety, grief, obsession, introspection, loss, separation, loneliness, isolation, alienation, guilt, loss of hope, temperamental woe and simple, pure, unhappiness.
It can be forms of low mood now out of date. The Edwardians were very keen on a condition known as "neurasthenia"; Virginia Woolf was diagnosed with it.
It was also known as "nervous debility", or, in its milder form, being hyper-sensitive and thin-skinned.